New Mexico Attorney General Gary King has advised the state Supreme Court that blocking gay marriage is unconstitutional. The Attorney General noted that state law neither permits nor denies same-sex marriage and banning it flies in the face of equal protection guarantees. The high court had solicited King's advisement in light of a lawsuit by two Santa Fe men denied a marriage license by the county clerk. However, that suit, says King, was improperly filed and the court does not have the authority to order a county official to take a specific action.
Today, State Auditor Hector Balderas gets to see the audit documents that caused New Mexico’s Human Services Department to suspend Medicaid payments to 15 providers of mental health and substance abuse services. Human Services Secretary Sidonie Squier had refused Balderas’ request for the documents saying the improprieties discovered could not at this time be construed as fraud. Without such a definitive finding, Human Services says it was not obligated to pass them along. A state district judge in Santa Fe disagreed and ordered the documents to be made available to the State Auditors of
After local news, we have a discussion with an agent from the DEA about a new drug tip text line -- TIP 411 -- that'll be part of a public awareness campaign in Santa Fe & Rio Arriba counties. We'll also speak with the Secretary of Taxation & Revenue as that department auctions off unclaimed properties next week in Albuquerque. Those items and more, plus 60 Seconds with Christopher Hagen.
In Albuquerque today, there will be a 2nd public meeting of the state’s Jobs Council. It was created by lawmakers earlier this year in the legislative session with the express purpose of looking at job creation over the next ten years. House Speaker Ken Martinez says the hope is to bring statewide employment back to pre-recession levels….***clip
After local news, we have a conversation with NM House Speaker Ken Martinez ahead of tomorrow's next public meeting of the newly created Jobs Council seeking ways to restore the state's employment rate to pre-recession levels. We also catch up with Attorney General Gary King about his investigation of alleged fraud by providers of mental health & substance abuse services in New Mexico. Those items and more plus 60 Seconds with Christopher Hagen.
Federal sequestration cuts are forcing the closure of two Head Start centers in Santa Fe County. The closures were announced by Presbyterian Medical Services which oversees the programs in four counties. Federal funding for Presbyterian's efforts has been cut by some $700,000. Shuttering their doors now are the Chimayó Head Start Center and another on the Institute of American Indian Arts campus. 10 other Head Start Centers in Santa Fe County are not affected.
After local news headlines, we speak with the New Mexico Dept. of Health about their new initiative to network healthcare practitioners to stem public health crises. The, a conversation with the Santa Fe Association Realtors and higher sales reported amid lower inventories. And...New Mexico's Rail Runner Express celebrates it 7th birthday. Those items and more plus 60 Seconds with Christopher Hagen.
Former Albuquerque police officer Levi Chavez has been acquitted of 1st degree murder charges in the 2007 shooting death of his wife. He had maintained his innocence saying her death was a suicide. The case drew much attention statewide with tales of extra-marital affairs and evidence tampering by Albuquerque police. Jurors rendered their “not guilty” verdict after some 10 hours of deliberations that began Monday following weeks of testimony.
Following local news, a report on the possibility for flooding in Santa Fe and how you might prepare for it. We also hear from Senator Martin Heinrich from Washington, D.C. And Tourism Secretary Monique Jacobsen talsk about how locals can ensure that tourists in New Mexico have a pleasant visit. Those items plus 60 Seconds with Christopher Hagen.
Santa Fe’s Finance Committee has endorsed that proposed ban within city limits of single use, plastic bags. Merchants would be permitted to use paper bags albeit at a minimum cost of ten cents each. The measure has the support of Mayor Coss and seven of eight city councilors with District 4’s Ron Trujillo not officially onboard. The proposed ban is headed for public hearing at City Hall in late August.
A report on "Cold War Patriots" -- those who worked with radioactive materials during the decades of atomic weapons production. EDD Secretary Joe Barela talks about the strength of New Mexico's exports. And UNM researchers are gaining a new perspective on cancer. These items and more plus 60 Seconds with Christopher Hagen.
Santa Fe’s 10 annual International Folk Art Market concluded Sunday with reports of increased attendance and higher sales. Today’s New Mexican reports that Sunday saw 7,000 people take in the vent at Museum Hill with sales over $1.3 million, a new record for a single day and some 20% higher than last year. Roughly 90% of the money taken in goes home with the artists, many of them from countries where the average wage is $3 a day.
A conversation with KSFR News reporter Marion Cox, a longtime attendee of Santa Fe's International Folk Art Market whose 10th annual event is currently underway. Then, we speak with the Exec. Dir. of the New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness who says an important federal fund is empty. And we catch up with Congressman Ben Ray Luján on activity in Washington with impacts here. Plus 60 Seconds with Christopher Hagen.
New Mexico's public schools have received their 2013 report cards and show overall improvement with letter grades higher than last year. Statewide, some 70% of schools maintained their grades or received higher ones. Gains were best for high schools. Here in Santa Fe, that was reflected in Capital High moving from a "D" to a "B" and Santa Fe High turning last year's "C" also into a "B". Less impressive were grades for local elementary schools. Four of those earned "F"s as opposed to just one last year.
After local news, we talk with a staff scientist at LANL regarding a joint study with UNM that says our local forests may be drastically reduced as soon as 2050. We also speak with a representative from the Alliance For Excellent Education who says cutting our state's high school dropout rate by half would result in annual Medicaid savings of some $46 million. And...as always...60 Seconds with Christopher Hagen.
Santa Fe City Council has moved to create a new, small park downtown adjacent to the Water street parking lot. The 240 square foot area will be known as Cerletti Park, named for the late Tourism Secretary Mike Cerletti who had also managed the St. Francis Hotel just across the street. In other action, the governing body denied a density-rezoning request made by the Civic Housing Authority regarding some vacant land off Siringo Road. The Authority was seeking to create new rental units, some of which would have been part of the city’s affordable housing program.
A report on the rising instances here in New Mexico of babies born with an opiate addiction. We talk to a LANL researcher on his findings that large wildfires cause more warming of the atmosphere than previously thought. And homeowners near the Hondo Fire department could soon see a downward revision of their home insurance policies. And as always...60 Seconds with Christopher Hagen.
Florida-based TECO Energy has applied to the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission for approval of its acquisition of New Mexico Gas Company. In May, TECO Energy entered into a stock purchase agreement to buy the company for $950 million. The transaction is expected to close in early 2014, pending approval from regulators. TECO Energy’s main subsidiaries are the Tampa Electric Company in West Central Florida, ad TECO Coal in Kentucky and Virginia.
A conversation with the Drug Policy Alliance in New Mexico as they begin a campaign to de-stigmatize military veterans needing use of medical marijuana. We catch up with senator tom Udall on several items of interest to New Mexico and Santa Fe city councilor Rebecca Wurzburger weighs in on making the mayoral post a full-time, fully salaried position. Plus 60 Seconds with Christopher Hagen.